Mismatch Repair Balances Leading and Lagging Strand DNA Replication Fidelity

The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Canada
PLoS Genetics (Impact Factor: 7.53). 10/2012; 8(10):e1003016. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003016
Source: PubMed


The two DNA strands of the nuclear genome are replicated asymmetrically using three DNA polymerases, α, δ, and ε. Current evidence suggests that DNA polymerase ε (Pol ε) is the primary leading strand replicase, whereas Pols α and δ primarily perform lagging strand replication. The fact that these polymerases differ in fidelity and error specificity is interesting in light of the fact that the stability of the nuclear genome depends in part on the ability of mismatch repair (MMR) to correct different mismatches generated in different contexts during replication. Here we provide the first comparison, to our knowledge, of the efficiency of MMR of leading and lagging strand replication errors. We first use the strand-biased ribonucleotide incorporation propensity of a Pol ε mutator variant to confirm that Pol ε is the primary leading strand replicase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We then use polymerase-specific error signatures to show that MMR efficiency in vivo strongly depends on the polymerase, the mismatch composition, and the location of the mismatch. An extreme case of variation by location is a T-T mismatch that is refractory to MMR. This mismatch is flanked by an AT-rich triplet repeat sequence that, when interrupted, restores MMR to >95% efficiency. Thus this natural DNA sequence suppresses MMR, placing a nearby base pair at high risk of mutation due to leading strand replication infidelity. We find that, overall, MMR most efficiently corrects the most potentially deleterious errors (indels) and then the most common substitution mismatches. In combination with earlier studies, the results suggest that significant differences exist in the generation and repair of Pol α, δ, and ε replication errors, but in a generally complementary manner that results in high-fidelity replication of both DNA strands of the yeast nuclear genome.

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    • "The S459F POLE variant shows high error rates for two additional errors, T!G and G!C transversions, which may indicate a more complex effect on the exonucleolytic mechanism for this mutant. Transversion errors are the most poorly corrected group of errors by mismatch repair (Schaaper and Dunn 1991; Lujan et al. 2012), suggesting that a POLE mutant-mediated increase in the C@BULLETdT mispairing-induced C!A errors could more easily saturate or circumvent the already less efficient mismatch repair correction. C!T transitions can arise in the lacZ forward mutation assay due to dA misinsertion opposite an undamaged C or opposite the uracil formed as a product of cytosine deamination . "
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    ABSTRACT: Tumors with somatic mutations in the proofreading exonuclease domain of DNA polymerase epsilon (POLE-exo*) exhibit a novel mutator phenotype, with markedly elevated TCT→TAT and TCG→TTG mutations and overall mutation frequencies often exceeding 100/Mb. Here, we identify POLE-exo* tumors in numerous cancers and classify them into two groups, A and B, according to their mutational properties. Group A mutants are found only in POLE, whereas group B mutants are found in POLE and POLD1, and appear to be non-functional. In group A, cell-free polymerase assays confirm that mutations in the exonuclease domain result in high mutation frequencies with a preference for C→A mutation. We describe the patterns of amino acid substitutions caused by POLE-exo* and compare them to other tumor types. The nucleotide preference of POLE-exo* leads to increased frequencies of recurrent nonsense mutations in key tumor suppressors such as TP53, ATM and PIK3R1. We further demonstrate that strand-specific mutation patterns arise from some of these POLE-exo* mutants during genome duplication. This is the first direct proof of leading strand-specific replication by human POLE, which has only been demonstrated in yeast so far. Taken together, the extremely high mutation frequency and strand specificity of mutations provide a unique identifier of eukaryotic origins of replication.
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    • "in RNase H2 (Lujan et al., 2012). As is displayed in Figure 1B, high-mobility fragments are more abundant when RNase H2 is defective (Figure 1B, left, lane 3, pol2-M644G rnh201D) as compared to when it is not (lane 1, pol2-M644G RNH + ). "
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    ABSTRACT: The Saccharomyces cerevisiae EXO1 gene encodes a 5' exonuclease that participates in mismatch repair (MMR) of DNA replication errors. Deleting EXO1 was previously shown to increase mutation rates to a greater extent when combined with a mutator variant (pol3-L612M) of the lagging strand replicase, DNA polymerase δ (Pol δ), than when combined with a mutator variant (pol2-M644G) of the leading strand replicase, DNA polymerase ɛ (Pol ɛ). Here we confirm that result, and extend the approach to examine the effect of deleting EXO1 in a mutator variant (pol1-L868M) of Pol α, the proofreading-deficient and least accurate of the three nuclear replicases that is responsible for initiating Okazaki fragment synthesis. We find that deleting EXO1 increases the mutation rate in the Pol α mutator strain to a significantly greater extent than in the Pol δ or Pol ɛ mutator strains, thereby preferentially reducing the efficiency of MMR of replication errors generated by Pol α. Because these mismatches are closer to the 5' ends of Okazaki fragments than are mismatches made by Pol δ or Pol ɛ, the results not only support the previous suggestion that Exo1 preferentially excises lagging strand replication errors during mismatch repair, they further imply that the 5' ends serve as entry points for 5' excision of replication errors made by Pol α, and possibly as strand discrimination signals for MMR. Nonetheless, mutation rates in the Pol α mutator strain are 5- to 25-fold lower in an exo1Δ strain as compared to an msh2Δ strain completely lacking MMR, indicating that in the absence of Exo1, most replication errors made by Pol α can still be removed in an Msh2-dependent manner by other nucleases and/or by strand displacement.
    DNA repair 12/2012; 12(2). DOI:10.1016/j.dnarep.2012.11.001 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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